Recently it has been brought to my attention that the New Haven independent confirmed firm interest in developing Hollywood East in the grounds near the Sikorski airport. Not being privy to all the details and meetings that my opponent is privy to I did receive an e-mailed request to read the article and I agreed to share my thoughts and to keep things in the open I will share them here with you as well.
To begin, this project has always brought up mixed feelings in me, as I believe Hollywood East could be a great thing for our state. I was a bit surprised by the mostly negative comments, but was not surprised by the cynicism. One of my concerns about this project is its state leadership, one in particular is a college drop out. If I had to make a bet on who was going to get a better deal the PHD's in business that work for Hollywood or our feeble minded state leaders... well its a "no brainer" no pun intended.
I will be praying that the elements behind this deal are honest, that Blumenthal is reading and advising on the contracts and the CT taxpayers are not left with chronic traffic congestion and no funds for schools or road repairs. I believe that botched or improperly structured tax credits can hurt a city more than help it. When the casino deals were negotiated those deals were good for the state (in terms of business and returns in tax revenue) as far as its moral implications I still take issue with the induced negative social impact and mental health problems associated with gambling addiction. I mention casino's because our initial reticence to have them is what led to that "kind of a sweet deal". Someone in Hartford needs to remember that and look out for the environment, our cities, and the needed revenue derived to support local municipal demands. This type of a large scale project will undoubtedly bring a new need for sewer construction, grid work, emergency personnel and the local schools who may get new out of state students but not enough tax revenue.
My initial thought is that the expert negotiators in Hollywood have done an extensive profit & loss analysis on the scope and nature of this project, while one un-named leader is just about ready to believe every promise made and sign anything he must without thinking beyond the information he is fed. We already know he "butted heads" with Blumenthal over the high cost of energy when he refused to support his advice regarding a "windfall profits tax." Should Blumenthal, who reads and understands contracts as he is an Attorney, it is entirely possible that quality advice may get ignored CT yet again!
To sum this up I will say that it is my opinion that Hollywood East is very exciting, but only if the deal takes care of the surrounding community and keeps its promises. The only thing I would change about this deal is its CT leadership and its uncanny ability to divide argue and upset people with ignorance of simple contract negotiations.
What are your thoughts?